Even More Halloween Nails

    Happy Halloween, Dear Reader!

    Well, I didn't get as many Halloween manicures done as I wanted to this year, but I have today's and another to show you today.  The one from last week was done using the Color Club Cast a Spell set of Halloween minis along with some Halloween Art Club rhinestones for Halloween, both of which Color Club sent to me.

    The mini set has a black, orange, holo, and dark purple shimmer (the same purple as last year, I think).  The really cool thing it has is some fun decals.  I was just playing around with it and did an orange manicure with a black accent nail, then applied the decals to the orange nails and a line of orange rhinestones to the accent nail.  This is what I came up with.

    Halloween Nails Using Color Club Cast a Spell
    Halloween Nails Using Color Club Cast a Spell Mini Set

    For today, I did a simple manicure, but it's the scariest one for me.  I'll even tell you the little story of why it's the scariest (if you don't care, feel free to skip to the paragraph after the story).  It's spider-related, so if they care you skip it.

    Six or seven years ago, I lived in new house on the edge of town, in a neighborhood that was being developed in what used to be corn fields.  Now, I've always been terrified of spiders, and when the construction guys would dig a new lot out of this corn field, the spiders and bugs were everywhere.  So gross and scary... After a few months of panicking at the sight of a spider, I decided I'd be all Zen and not kill them anymore, just ignore them and go about my business in order to get over my fear of them.  Good plan, right?  I soon saw two spider webs in the corner of the bedroom a few feet from my side of the bed, and for a few days was all pleased with myself for ignoring them.  Pleased, that is, until I woke up one morning to zillions of tiny spider dots all over two walls of the room and squished all over the bed.  The two spiders had mated and the eggs had hatched overnight.  I have never again felt compelled to peacefully coexist with an arachnid, and am more freaked out than ever about spiders.

    Back to the manicure!  In honor of my scary spider story, I decided to do a spider in a web on my left ring nail.  For the base color, I decided on Chanel Rouge Noir - it's a good dried blood color, and sufficiently Halloween-y on long nails.  For the web and spider, I used stamping plate BM13, white for the web and black for the spider, both Konad Special Polish.  To make my spider even scarier, I added a red dot (Zoya Lisa) to its back to make it a Black Widow.

    Black Widow Nails over Chanel Rouge Noir
    Black Widow Nails on Chanel Rouge Noir

    Black Widow Nails on Chanel Rouge Noir, Closer
    Black Widow Nails on Chanel Rouge Noir, Closer View

    I really like this manicure because it's not overtly a novelty, the accent nail is more like a little surprise if someone looks closely.  And I couldn't handle more than one spider on my nails, lest they become friends and make zillions of tiny spider dots.

    So, that's the update on Halloween manicures and your scary Halloween story to start out the day.  I hope you have a great day today, and until next time, love and nail polish to you!  

Dior Aztec Chocolate 886

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Today I have a swatch of Dior Aztec Chocolate, one of the new holiday colors from Dior.  It's an elegant brown with a visible shimmer.  It applied like a dream and dried quickly, which is typical of Diors for me.  This is two coats.

    Dior Aztec Chocolate
    Dior Aztec Chocolate Nail Polish, Two Coats

    I love browns for Fall, and I especially like how understated this one is.  I think it's really gorgeous.

    That's what I have for you today, Dear Reader.  Until next time, love and nail polish to you!  

Illamasqua Viridian

    Good afternoon, Dear Reader!

    Today I got to try out Illamasqua Viridian, and it's every bit as good as Scarab.  Viridian is a bluish green shimmer, and it's also really glowy.  These two may have the best application ever.  Two coats was all it took.

    Illamasqua Viridian
    Illamasqua Viridian Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Ain't she a beauty?  I think it's fantastic.

    That's it for today, Dear Reader.  Until next time, love and nail polish to you!  

Illamasqua Scarab

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Today I'm wearing a nail polish with a good name for Halloween, Illamasqua Scarab.  It's a dark red shimmer with a hint of brown to it, and the shimmer really glows.  Application of Scarab was exceptionally good - the polish seems a little thick, but I used it as-is and it pretty much applied itself.  This is two coats.

    Illamasqua Scarab
    Illamasqua Scarab Nail Polish, Two Coats

    From the picture, you can see how easy Scarab was to apply.  I didn't do any cleanup to my nails or to the picture, but the line where the polish ends at the cuticle is really crisp just because that's how it went on.  Good stuff.

    That's what I have for you this morning, Dear Reader.  Until next time, love and nail polish to you!  

FingerPaints Winter Dreams Collection

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Sally Beauty Supply sent me samples of their FingerPaints Winter Dreams Collection for Holiday 2010 to review, and I have swatches of them for you today.  I'm a fan of FingerPaints in general, particularly the seasonal collections, but the FingerPaints holiday collections are always my favorites with great colors and finishes.  The Winter Dreams Collection does not disappoint, either - every one of these polishes is a winner.

    Winter Wishes is an elegant champagne shimmer with very fine gold glitter.  I used two coats of Winter Wishes and topped it with a coat of Seche Vite so you could see how it really looks (the glitter was making it look less than attractive without top coat).

    FingerPaints Winter Wishes
    FingerPaints Winter Wishes Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Holly Good times is a mixture of gold and red fine glitter in a clear base.  I used two coats to make it opaque, and somehow this one reminds me of apple cider.

    FingerPaints Holly Good Times
    FingerPaints Holly Good Times Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Just Plum Fun is a rich plum with a subtle shimmer, also a two coater.

    FingerPaints Just Plum Fun Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Merry Mittens is a rust red shimmer with fine gold glitter.  In two coats, the polish is opaque and the fine glitter shows through very well without being over the top - it's festive without being too much at all.

    FingerPaints Merry Mittens
    FingerPaints Merry Mittens Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Mistletoe Mischief was the only one of the six that required a third coat for me.  The polish was a bit thin, but for a Christmas green shimmer with tiny flaky bits, I'll do a third coat.

    FingerPaints Mistletoe Mischief
    FingerPaints Mistletoe Mischief Nail Polish, Three Coats

    Last up, in keeping with the traditional ordering of things, is my favorite of the collection, Mulberry Madness.  This one's a mulberry base with silver and mulberry glitter.  It's gorgeous and it's good in two coats.

    FingerPaints Mulberry Madness
    FingerPaints Mulberry Madness Nail Polish, Two Coats

    So those are the six colors in FingerPaints' Winter Dreams, and I really like every one of them.  As for generalities regarding the collection, I found the shimmers with lots of glitter (Winter Wishes & Mulberry Madness) were quite thick, but after two thin coats and two coats of top coat, they're perfect.  With the other four, when applying them I questioned whether they could be possibly opaque in inly two coats because the first looks really thin, but they're just fine.  No changes have been to the brush or bottle, and I had nary a wonky brush, so I really have nothing at all to complain about.

    The FingerPaints Winter Dreams Collection will be available online on Sally Beauty Supply's site and in stores in November.  That's all I have for you today, Dear Reader, so until next time, love and nail polish to you!  

Konad Plate M56

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Konad plate m56 is my favorite tip pattern plate, but I haven't used it in a long time because I haven't been able to find the plate.  After many, many months, I finally bit the bullet last week and got a replacement, so I have two manicures using m56 to show you today.

    First up is one using two patterns from m56.  I started with two coats of Nubar Barricade, then stamped the free edge with the swirly pattern on the plate in Konad Pink, then did the little ribbon and bow pattern at the nail line in Konad Black Pearl.

    Konad Plate m56 over Nubar Barricade
    Konad m56 over Nubar Barricade Nail Polish

    I'm not as wild about that one as I'd hoped to be, but I guess I just won't love them all... It's more about how the colors look together than the patterns though.  I'll likely try the same thing again with different colors to see what I think.

    The second one, I like a lot.  For this one, I started with four coats of China Glaze Shocking Pink.  Four coats is high maintenance, but Shocking Pink is worth it to me.  I then painted my tips white, gave them a minute to dry, and stamped the white part with the checkerboard tip pattern using Konad Black.  I really like the outcome, and it's what I'm wearing today.

    Konad Plate m56 over China Glaze Shocking Pink
    Konad m56 over China Glaze Shocking Pink Nail Polish

    The picture here just hints at how truly retina searing Shocking Pink is, and with the black and white checks, it's a little hard on the eyes!

    That's what I have for you today, Dear Reader.  Until next time, love and nail polish to you!  

Essie Going Incognito

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    I just got some (most) of Essie's Winter 2010 Collection this week, and I have Going Incognito to show to you today.  It's the green creme in the collection.  It's a really nice polish - a well pigmented two coater that's easy to control. It's roughly the same tone as Pretty Edgy but Going Incognito is a bluer shade of green.

    Essie Going Incognito Nail Polish
    Essie Going Incognito Nail Polish for Winter 2010, Two Coats

    That's what I have for you today, Dear Reader.  Until next time, love and nail polish to you!  

MAC Rain of Flowers

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    I was looking for a purple to wear today, and I settled on an untried polish, MAC Rain of Flowers.  It's a deep purple shimmer which is well pigmented, completely opaque in two coats, and easy to control.

    MAC Rain of Flowers
    MAC Rain of Flowers Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Other than that, I don't have a heck of a lot else for you today.  If you're not wearing purple yet today, Google "wear purple 10/20" to see why you might want to, then go slap on something purple.  Until next time, Dear Reader, love and nail polish to you!  

More Halloween Nails

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    I had a few things to choose from to show you today since I've been slacking on posting the past few days, and I picked the one I like the best.  Yesterday's manicure was another Halloween manicure, but a lot less literal and over the top than the last one.

    I started out with three coats of SpaRitual Revere, an orange shimmer, then stamped it with a pattern from Konad plate M80 in Konad Black Pearl Special Polish.  I really like it.

    Halloween Nails: SpaRitual Revere Nail Polish with Konad M80
    SpaRitual Revere Nail Polish, Three Coats, with Konad M80

    That's the update for today, Dear Reader, so until next time, love and nail polish to you!  

Two from China Glaze 'Tis the Season

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    I got some of China Glaze's Holiday 2010 polishes this week, and I have pictures of the first two manicures I've done with them for you.

    The first is Jolly Holly, a really nice pine green with a subtle shimmer.  I found this one to be quite thick, so I applied two really thin coats and it worked out fine.

    China Glaze Jolly Holly
    China Glaze Jolly Holly Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Next up, I wanted to use Party Hearty, gold and green glitter with red hex glitter in a clear base.  I decided to layer it over Mrs. Claus, the pinkish red glitter from this collection, and I used two coats of each.  After about a zillion coats of top coat to smooth it out, I'm happy with the result - I like how well the glitter from Party Hearty, even the red, shows up well on the pink red of Mrs. Claus.

    China Glaze Party Hearty & Mrs. Claus
    China Glaze Party Hearty & Mrs. Claus, Two Coats Each

    That's what I've used from 'Tis the Season so far.  I especially love both Mrs. Claus and Party Hearty - I'm really glad that I picked them up.  I don't have anything else for you today, so until next time, love and nail polish to you!  

The Rainbow Leopard Mani

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Yesterday I finally wore a manicure that's been in my brain to do for a while, and it turned out pretty well. What I wanted to do was a black on white leopard print with the spots filled in with bright colors. Kind of a rainbow snow leopard... Anyhow, I hadn't tried it because I thought it would be a giant project, which it was. Here's the finished manicure.

    The Rainbow Leopard Mani
    Rainbow Leopard Manicure

    I started with, as you can see, a white Sephora by OPI. Just for funsies, I decided to use Full Moon. That way, on the off chance I don't have enough going on here, it'll glow in the dark, too. After three coats of that had set, I stamped the leopard pattern in Konad Black Pearl. I used the black shimmer Konad polish because I had shimmers for the spots, and also because it's harder to smudge than regular black. Then it was time to fill in the dots with nail art pens. It was a good thing I did this while watching a movie or I might not have survived the boredom. Once the dots were filled in, a coat of top coat finished everything off, and I finally have my festive manicure.

    That's what I have for you today, Dear Reader. Until next time, love and nail polish to you!

Konad Plate M44

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    I've been Konading more in recent days, and have pictures of a couple of Konadicures for you today.  Both use Konad plate m44, a tip pattern, for the stamping.

    First up is two coats of SpaRitual Shoot for the Stars stamped with woven tip pattern in Konad white.

    Konad Plate M44 over SpaRitual Shoot for the Stars
    Konad Plate M44 over SpaRitual Shoot for the Stars Nail Polish

    The other I'm wearing today, and I had to use artificial light.  It's three coats of Essie Pretty Edgy with the inverse basket weave tip pattern from M44 in Konad Blue.  

    Konad Plate M44 over Essie Pretty Edgy
    Konad Plate M44 over Essie Pretty Edgy Nail Polish

    Those are my recent Konadicures with plate M44.  I have a bunch of stuff to swatch for you, but lately I've just been so tickled by Konad that swatching waits...

    That's all for today, Dear Reader.  Until next time, love and nail polish to you!  

OPI Pink of Hearts 2010

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    I thought it was about time to use a BCA color, and yesterday I wore OPI Pink of Hearts 2010.  It's a light pink shimmer, similar to SpaRitual Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.  I used three coats to even out the color, and the result is a really girly pink manicure.

    OPI Pink of Hearts 2010
    OPI Pink of Hearts 2010 Nail Polish, Three Coats

    I'm happy with it.  I still have it on, so I ought to go change it...  Until next time, love and nail polish to you!  

Halloween Nails

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Yesterday I decided to do my first Halloween manicure of the year, and it turned out well.  I started with Color Club Wham! Pow!, a neon orange creme.  Wham! Pow! took four thin coats to be opaque, but it dried quickly so it wasn't a big deal.  Once it had a few minutes to dry, I stamped it.  On my ring fingers, I used the jack o' lantern image from Konad plate M13, and on the rest of them I used a flying bat pattern from Bundle Monster plate BM13, all in Konad Black.

    Halloween Nails
    Halloween Nails

    I like how it turned out but for one thing - it's easy to see that I couldn't get a completely clean image from the Bundle Monster plate on a few nails.  I think Bundle Monster plates are worth what they cost, but it is a little frustrating to have everything turn out just right and have a couple of imperfect stamps.  However, if that's the worst thing that happens to me all day, I think I'll be alright.

    That's the first Halloween manicure of the year, and I hope to get in a couple more before the end of the month.  That's all for today, so until next time, love and nail polish to you!  

Nfu Oh 569 & CND Gold Sparkle

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Yesterday I did a manicure I really liked, so I thought I'd show it to you.  I wanted to use a CND Effects polish since I haven't used those much, and decided to go with Gold Sparkle.  I really like the Sparkle Effects a lot.  Having chosen that, I needed to pick a base color, and I went with Nfu Oh 569 (the one like NARS Zulu).  I used two coats of 569 and one of Gold Sparkle.

    Nfu Oh 569 & CND Gold Sparkle
    Nfu Oh 569, Two Coats, with One Coat CND Gold Sparkle

    It's a little on the Christmassy side for October, but I like it just the same.

    That's all for today, Dear Reader.  Until next time, love and nail polish to you!  

NARS Full Metal Jacket 2010

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Today I have another of the recent NARS rereleases, Full Metal Jacket.  I had the original and thought it was the perfect gunmetal grey shimmer.  The polish goes on a little thin, so it needed three coats, but it's super shiny and still the perfect gunmetal.

    NARS Full Metal Jacket
    NARS Full Metal Jacket Nail Polish, Three Coats

    I'm thrilled with it.  There are lots of greys out now, but this one is just right for me, so it's good to have it again.

    That's the update for today, Dear Reader.  Until next time, love and nail polish to you!  

MAC Bad Fairy & WowSoCool Contest

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    I had the good fortune to get MAC Bad Fairy when MAC's Venomous Villians was released, and I have a picture of it for you today.  It's kind of a red/orange duochrome with the new-ish pigment that's been all over in recent months.

    I was somewhat disappointed to find that the brush in my bottle of Bad Fairy had a bunch of splayed out stray hairs - for what MAC charges, it seems like a flawed brush should not be an issue.  The polish was a bit sheer going on, and I needed three coats to make it opaque.  Here it is in the sun.

    MAC Bad Fairy
    MAC Bad Fairy Nail Polish, Three Coats

    I like it and I think the color's unique, but I find that I'm completely burned out on this pigment, which keeps me from being as enthusiastic about Bad Fairy as  I otherwise would be.  This kind of finish wowed me at first, but a billion Fall and Winter collections later, I'm just not as impressed.  I assume I'll come to like it better once I'm a little further away from all the collections with this sort of finish though.

    The other news is that Jessica from WowSoCool let me know that she's having a giveaway taking entries through the 15th of October.  The prizes are things like a $50 and $25 gift certificate for WSC, which is pretty generous.  You can find details on how to enter at the WowSoCool blog.

    That's just about all I have for you today, Dear Reader.  Until next time, love and nail polish to you!  

Sephora by OPI Halloween 2010

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    Today I have swatches of the three new limited edition Sephora by OPI nail polishes for Halloween 2010, which are on Sephora's site.  They're varied and not all hits...

    Full Moon is a really good one.  It's a white glow in the dark polish, not a totally stark white, but with a hint of ivory.  It differs from OPI Ghostess with the Mostess in that Full Moon is much more opaque and glows more.  For the OPI, I've always had to use two coats over two coats of a white creme, but Full Moon was opaque and even on its own in three coats.  My experience is that glow in the dark nail polish is pretty much the opposite of self leveling, so I just ignore that and a coat of top coat fixes it.

    Sephora by OPI Full Moon
    Sephora by OPI Full Moon Nail Polish, Three Coats

    Kitty Loves Black I got because the swatch looked interesting.  Sephora describes the color as "opaque metallic black," but it's neither black nor metallic.  It's more of a dark charcoal with a bit of silver and blue shimmer, and it took three coats.  It's not bad, but nothing to write home about either.

    Sephora by OPI Kitty Loves Black
    Sephora by OPI Kitty Loves Black Nail Polish, Three Coats

    If You've Got It, Haunt It was the one I was most excited about.  It's a blackish base with loads of silver and blue glitter, and it looks really cool in the bottle.  The good news is that it only took two coats, the bad news is that applying it was just like spreading out brownie batter.  The glitter is so dense that the polish is unbelievably thick.  Because there's so much glitter, it took three coats of Seche Vite to smooth it out.  About five minutes after taking the picture of If You've Got It, Flaunt It, I panicked about removal of all that fine glitter and took it off while I still could.  I don't know if I'll ever work up the nerve to try it again.

    Sephora by OPI If You've Got It, Haunt It
    Sephora by OPI If You've Got It, Haunt It Nail Polish, Two Coats

    Those are Sephora by OPI's Halloween 2010 offerings.  Knowing what I know now, I think Full Moon would be the only one I would get - it's by far the nicest GID polish I have (it doesn't look like a novelty polish in normal light), and I have an occasion to wear it later this month, so that one is a keeper.  The other two, not so much.

    That's the update for today, Dear Reader.  Until next time, love and nail polish to you!  

NARS Zulu 2010

    Good morning, Dear Reader!

    When I heard that Zulu would be made again, I was up in the air about whether to get it.  I tried the original a few times, and my recollection of it is that I really wanted to like it, but it always looked blotchy on me so I couldn't.  After a couple of years of seeing good pictures of Zulu (particularly The Polish Addict's) I figured I'd give it one more try with the new version, and it ends up that I like it a lot.  I used three thin coats, and it's even and very shiny.

    I took pictures of this one both in and out of direct sunlight.  I like how it looks in direct light, but that's not an entirely accurate representation of how it looks on the nail in normal light.  Here's Zulu in direct sunlight.

    NARS Zulu, 2010 Release, in Sunlight
    NARS Zulu Nail Polish, 2010 Release, Three Coats in Sunlight

    In the sun, you can see that Zulu is distinctly dark green, not black.  In the shade, it's still green, but it takes a closer look to see that.  This is how it looks on me in normal light.

    NARS Zulu, 2010 Release, in the Shade
    NARS Zulu Nail Polish, 2010 Release, Three Coats in the Shade

    So that's NARS' 2010 release of Zulu.  I'm glad I got it - I feel like I'm finally "getting" what I'd previously been missing about Zulu.  I no longer have the original to compare to it, but I know that's already been done - I can just tell you that from my experience, I don't miss the original because of the application, but this version was just fine for me.

    That's what I have for you today, Dear Reader.  Until next time, love and nail polish to you!  

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